By Khadi Madama


Going to a job where you have no personal workspace is like being out at sea with no anchor to give you a feeling of roundedness. Often in health care settings such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy spaces, there is a therapy room and an office, but the office and one desk, may be shared by all of the staff, many who are part of the team but who are from various agencies, which doesn’t allow for personal space.  With many of the staff in these settings working for more than one agency, it can contribute to a sense of feeling adrift “being adrift.” This also occurs, according to interview surveys, with visiting nurses, and home health care aides who travel most of the day. This certainly can increase stress. But we know what works because we’ve been there and solved the problem.

– If you have no personal place to call your own, but you have a locker, it is essential that you stock with items you normally would keep in a desk. That way, you can get to your locker, find a quiet space on premises and create a small haven during break times.

– If you have no locker carry a special sports bag, the kind that has shelves and pockets and a cold section to keep lunches. This will help you create a portable personal comfort space, when you are on the go.  Inside you can store lunch, snacks, personal necessities and other comforts that you can use on the job during any breaks or down time. Eye-masks like those used in airplanes are great for a 5-10 minute break especially under fluorescent lighting. Aromatherapy hand lotion is an almost instant form of relief. Neck strain? Keep a few instant disposable hand warmer packets that you can place on your neck. And don’t forget an assortment of healthy snacks and small bottles of water. Add a small photo album where you can keep photos of loved ones, pictures of vacation spots, prayer cards or poems, or anything that a gives you a quick uplifting, energizing experience.

STRESS RELIEF ON THE RUN: Pocket Stress Relief

For those in careers such as nursing, labor trades that have on your feet, in a construction vehicle, or on the run most of the day with little down time, keep the following in your pocket:

– Mints to boost alertness. A spritz of mint breath freshener also increases your stamina for short periods of time.

– Gum: If gum is OK for you, chewing it helps the brain release serotonin, which relieves tension.

– Aromatherapy Lip Balm which you can also use on your wrist pulse points.

– Keep a touchstone, such as a penny, smooth stone, or other tiny object reminder on which you can run your fingers over, to remind you to slow down or breathe.

Be sure not to miss next month when we get into our favorite part of the program: The Professional Journal. It’s not high-tech, has no moving parts and requires no batteries, but it is sure useful. See you then. And remember that many of these stress tips work wonders on a Quick-Seat Chair when you are on a long wait.

Quick-Seat Chairs. Temporary Seating That Closes Itself.